Snow causes £15m losses for New LookMonday, 17 January 2011
In spite of the opening of five new stores, total group sales fell 3.4 per cent in the 15-week period to January 8, lagging behind other clothing retailers such as Debenhams, House of Fraser and Blacks Leisure, which reported rising sales of winter coats and footwear.
The private equity backed retailer, which abandoned plans for a £1.7bn stock market flotation last February, warned that UK gross margins would be affected by increased discounting to clear surplus stocks.
Alastair Miller, finance director, said: “We don’t rule anything in or out, but we have no plans at present to come back to the market.”
At New Look’s interim results in November, it warned that prices would rise by 8 per cent in 2011 due to cost-price inflation and the VAT increase that came into effect on January 4.
Mr Miller added that pricing would be held on 10 per cent of New Look’s value fashion ranges and reduced on basics such as vest tops to attract cost-conscious consumers.
“If it had pulled off the IPO, today would have been its second profit warning,” said Andy Wade, retail analyst at Numis.
Image: New Look SS11